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Radio News: Mobile Only Challenge protests new broadband standards

Jan 10, 2018 10:50 pm
Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica reports that the Federal Communications Commission is about to lower the standard of what it considers a "broadband" internet signal. Current FCC policy says that everyone should have access to both fast mobile data and quick home Internet signals over fiber or cable. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai may soon release a new standard, declaring that America's broadband problem is fixed if everyone has access to either fast home Internet or cellular Internet service with download speeds of at least 10Mbps. Internet activists, though, think there is a big difference, and that one cannot do everything with mobile service. So these activists have created the "Mobile Only Challenge." "The FCC wants to lower broadband standards," the Mobile Only Challenge's website says. "Pledge to spend one day in January 2018 accessing the Internet only on your mobile device to tell them that's not OK." It is an odd protest -- no one making decisions over everyone's internet service will take the test, and those feeling the pain have already decided they are for broadband for everyone. The only way anyone with any decision-making authority could see the results for themselves is by accident. "I was forced to participate in the #MobileOnly challenge when Cox was a no-show for three days after I moved over the weekend," Joe Miller, a tech policy podcaster tweeted. "Sure, I was able to consume content. But producing anything was impossible. By no stretch of the imagination was I 'adequately served.'"